|Publication number||US7168823 B1|
|Application number||US 11/041,378|
|Publication date||Jan 30, 2007|
|Filing date||Jan 24, 2005|
|Priority date||Oct 14, 2003|
|Publication number||041378, 11041378, US 7168823 B1, US 7168823B1, US-B1-7168823, US7168823 B1, US7168823B1|
|Inventors||Garland R. Jones|
|Original Assignee||Jones Garland R|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (10), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a Continuation-In-Part of application Ser. No. 10/684,906, filed Oct. 14, 2003 now abandoned, which is included herein by reference. Additionally, this application claims the filing benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/542,122, filed Feb. 5, 2004, which is included herein by reference.
The present invention pertains generally to lighting products, and more particularly to objects which are internally illuminated by an embedded light source.
A light source embedded in a transparent or translucent object causes the object to shine, and produces vivid color displays which enhance either an indoor or outdoor setting. Such objects are typically made from polymers or glass, and contain an embedded light source such as a light emitting diode (LED). The form of the objects can range from flowers to underwater figurines, and from beverage holders to trailer lights.
For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,165,778 illustrates an aquarium lighting system for underwater illumination of an aquarium tank. The light sources each include an elongated insulated wire having a light emitting diode on one end. A water impervious encapsulating layer of material extends over the LED lens and preferably seals and electrically insulates the connection between the elongated wire and the light emitting diode. The wire insulation is both waterproof and watertight. The plug has an opening extending therethrough which cooperates with an attachment mechanism such as a tie wrap or a suction cup to facilitate attaching the light emitting diode to either an object within the tank or the tank walls. A decorative aquarium volcano and display stand also are shown.
The present invention is directed to transparent and/or translucent objects which contain a selectively energizable embedded light source which causes the object to shine thereby enhancing its beauty. The object can be a figurine, a flower, a beverage holder, a landscape light, or any other item which would benefit from an internally located lighting source. If the object is translucent, then the housing of the object diffuses the light from the light source. If the object is transparent, a coating placed on the external surface of the object diffuses the light from the light source. The light can transform an otherwise dull object into a vivid colored display. The light from the object is particularly beautiful in a darkened environment. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the light source comprises light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are molded into the object, which consume very little power, and have a life of up to 100,000 hours.
Heretofore an object such as a beautiful artificial flower wreath or basket would have to be highlighted by a spot light type light source directed onto the flower arrangement to illuminate the vivid colors of the flowers. With the present invention these vivid colors can be captured by LEDs molded into the flower itself so no external lighting is required.
In an embodiment of the invention a circuit board having a plurality of LED attachment stations permits the connection of as many LEDs as are required to achieve a desired lighting effect. In a disclosed embodiment of the invention the number of LEDs can range from one through twelve. The LEDs are soldered onto the circuit board along with appropriate resistors. The circuit board with attached LEDs and resistors is then encapsulated into a solid mold of liquid acrylic or plastic resin. When the resin has cured the object can be painted or a resin colorant can be used. The object is then plugged into an electrical outlet or connected to a battery.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, an internally illuminated object comprises a housing which is at least one of transparent and translucent. A selectively energizable light source is disposed within the housing. The light source includes a circuit board having a first side and an opposite second side, the first side includes a plurality of light emitting diode attachment stations. The light emitting diode attachment stations include an outer set of attachment stations and an inner set of attachment stations, wherein the outer set of attachment stations is disposed in rotationally staggered relationship with respect to the inner set of attachment stations. At least one light emitting diode is connected to at least one of the light emitting diode attachment stations.
In accordance with an aspect of the invention, the outer set of attachment stations includes six attachment stations, and the inner set of attachment stations including six attachment stations.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, at least one socket is disposed on the second side of the circuit board, the socket for receiving a halogen light.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the outer set of attachment stations is disposed in circular spaced apart relationship, and the inner set of attachment stations is disposed in circular spaced apart relationship.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the circuit board has a central axis, and the at least one light emitting diode has a direction of radiation. The at least one light emitting diode is connected to the circuit board so that the direction of radiation of is angled away from the central axis of the circuit board.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the light source includes an annular circuit board having a plurality of light emitting diode attachment stations, wherein at least one light emitting diode is connected to at least one light emitting diode attachment station.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, an internally illuminated object includes a transparent housing having an external surface. The external surface has a translucent coating.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the translucent coating is of uneven thickness so that the external surface of the housing shines unevenly when the light source is energized.
Other aspects of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
Referring initially to
In an embodiment of the invention, if housing 22 is transparent, then external surface 24 has a translucent coating 28 such as paint. Translucent coating 28 diffuses the light from light source 26 so that the external surface 24 of object 20 shines. In another embodiment of the invention, translucent coating 28 is purposely made an uneven thickness so that external surface 24 of object 20 shines unevenly when light source 26 is energized. That is, bright and less bright spots will appear on external surface 24 of object 20. Leads 27 connect light source 26 to a power source such as 6 volts DC. Power may either be supplied from an electrical outlet or from a battery.
The six light emitting diodes 25 are mounted in a circular arrangement on a circular circuit board 30 having a central axis 21. The direction of radiation 29 of each light emitting diode 25 is substantially parallel to the direction of radiation of every other light emitting diode 25 and also substantially parallel to central axis 21. In the shown embodiment, each light emitting diode 25 has a radiation pattern of about 10°.
The outer set of attachment stations 136 is disposed in rotationally staggered relationship with respect to said inner set of attachment stations 136. That is, the inner set of attachment stations 136 are rotationally offset from the outer set of attachment stations 136 by an angular amount (30° in the shown embodiment) so that each inner attachment station 136 has an unobstructed line of sight LOS to the perimeter P of circuit board 130. In other words, the outer set of attachment stations 136 does not block the inner set of attachment stations 136 such as could otherwise happen with the angled LEDs of
The preferred embodiments of the invention described herein are exemplary and numerous modifications, variations, and rearrangements can be readily envisioned to achieve an equivalent result, all of which are intended to be embraced within the scope of the appended claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7661840||Feb 16, 2010||Ilight Technologies, Inc.||Lighting device with illuminated front panel|
|US7663315||Feb 16, 2010||Ilight Technologies, Inc.||Spherical bulb for light-emitting diode with spherical inner cavity|
|US7686478||Mar 30, 2010||Ilight Technologies, Inc.||Bulb for light-emitting diode with color-converting insert|
|US8109656||Feb 7, 2012||Ilight Technologies, Inc.||Bulb for light-emitting diode with modified inner cavity|
|US8201972||Jun 19, 2012||Exhart Environmental Systems, Inc.||LED molded tree branches with blossoms|
|US20060133088 *||Dec 20, 2004||Jun 22, 2006||Caferro Edward N||Lighting louver system|
|US20070183155 *||Feb 8, 2007||Aug 9, 2007||Thomas Chen||Decorative entertaining unit|
|US20080169746 *||Nov 27, 2007||Jul 17, 2008||Ilight Technologies, Inc.||Bulb for light-emitting diode|
|US20110096546 *||Oct 26, 2009||Apr 28, 2011||Exhart Environmental Systems, Inc.||LED Molded Tree Branches With Blossoms|
|US20150323389 *||May 6, 2014||Nov 12, 2015||Clear Innovation LLC||Floating illumination thermometer|
|U.S. Classification||362/228, 362/249.14, 362/249.06, 362/800, 362/240, 362/235|
|Cooperative Classification||F21Y2101/00, F21W2121/00, Y10S362/80, F21V33/0036|
|Sep 6, 2010||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jan 30, 2011||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Mar 22, 2011||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20110130